Saturday, October 22, 2005

Helmuth and pocket sevens

I read Phil Helmuth's Play Poker Like the Pros several months ago, and at that time I was convinced that his goal in writing the book was to get more fish at his tables, and to mislead his opponents as to how he plays. In the book, he writes:

To begin with, I recommen playing only the top ten hands and folding on all others. The top ten are, in order of relative promise, A-A, K-K, Q-Q, A-K, J-J, 10-10, 9-9, 8-8, A-Q, and finally 7-7. . . . In general, I recommend playing the top ten hands regardless of your position in the betting order or the number of bets that it will cost you to get involved in the hand. Always raise with these ten hands, no matter what it costs you to get involved.

Pocket sevens? WTF? I thought he was insane.

Fast forward to today...

I'm watching the TiVOed 2005 WSOP main event, day 1, and Helmuth is at the featured table. He's just come back after spending several minutes (and a few blinds) storming around the room after losing to AJo when the jack paired on the river.

He sits down, looks at his cards, and sees AQo. He raises, and to his left, Paul Magriel looks at his pocket sevens and re-raises. Everyone else folds, Helmuth goes all in, and loses when the cards come J-9-4, 9, 5.

Of course, Helmuth rants that only some of the worst poker players in the world would raise that agressively with pocket sevens. Phil, I know a book you should read...

1 comment:

Bill said...

I was following some liveblogging of the WSOP back in spring. When I read about that hand, my day got instantly better.